Jars of Oil

It has been almost 12 years now since my family first walked through the doors of IBCZ. It was a blessing then and still is today. We have met a lot of wonderful people who have welcomed our small family into their midst and have ministered to our hearts and souls. During this time I have had the privilege of meeting amazing wonderful women of God who have ministered to me through the years. However, as years fly by, these ladies have also come and gone. God has taken them to different ventures and missions, and I feel left behind and suddenly alone. The familiar faces I saw when I lead worship, the faces and hearts I know had prayed and supported me all these years are suddenly gone. Being left behind is not a very good feeling at all.

In the midst of this struggle, the Lord spoke to my heart. God reminded me that there might be some women in our church feeling the same way. Whether they are missing the support they had in their own home country prior to moving to Switzerland or women like me in IBCZ who are missing the ones who have now moved on. Or perhaps women who are dreading the imminent transfer or move of a dear friend .

During the IBC Women’s Conference, I heard the story of the widow in 2 Kings. The talk was from a wonderful woman of God, Jill Briscoe. This widow went to Elijah and told her of her need. Even reminding him of how her husband knew and served the Lord. Now she is in need. She is running on empty with children to feed. The question that Elijah threw at her was “What is in your house?” She responded that she had only a small portion of oil. Then she was asked to get as many jars as possible from her own collection or to borrow some. She was asked to pour. She was probably feeling incredulous and a bit anxious in front of her children whose faith could very well lie on what is going to happen next. Would there be oil? Enough oil?

And then she pours out. As she continues to pour, the oil kept flowing. It kept flowing, as long as she poured, until she was able to fill all the jars and she and her family were set and cared for.

I’ve heard the story a lot of times in the past and it has always been in the context of the Lord providing what we need. Somehow this time, the story is pointing me towards the Women’s Ministry in IBCZ. “What does it have anything to do with the women’s ministry?”, I thought.

Women have different jars at home that we fill with our oil. We have the mother jar, the wife jar, the sister jar, the friend jar, the ministry leader jar etc. We put oil in these jars as we use them everyday. Sometimes since there are lots of jars to fill, we are left with very little oil and sometimes we feel there is no oil left at all. We then feel we can’t do anything more and that we need filling up. We need more time, more energy, more love, more support. We cannot offer anything anymore. But then God asks us, “What is in your house?”. What is in our house? Very little oil.

So God challenges us to bring all the jars we have in our house. He then challenges us to pour out. We then ask, “Pour out? But I need pouring IN.”

God challenges us to go on and pour out. As we pour out, He gives us the oil. He will keep on pouring IN the oil that we need so we can keep pouring OUT to all the jars we have in our house. Then He will ask us to ask for our neighbors’ jars. With all the busyness and challenges of life in Switzerland, most of the time without having any family support, we feel we cannot pour out anymore.

The Women’s Ministry in IBCZ should be an encouragement for us women to pour OUT in the lives of other women in the church as God pours IN the oil that we need to do so. Isn’t it a beautiful picture of God’s source of oil pouring into different women’s jars of oil that then spills out and fills out / pours out into other women’s jars.

We can be there for each other. Support one another, pray for one another, cry with one another, hold each other and all the while keeping our fill of oil. We can discover our gifts and offer it to each other.

I challenge us all to reflect on 2 Kings, have faith that the oil will come from our great God. Let us pour out into each others’ lives in every way needed. We can put our oil together and fill the women’s jars . To God be the glory!

This coming Thursday, Switzerland enjoys a public holiday, while as God’s people we celebrate the return of our Lord Jesus to His Heavenly Father. Join us on Sunday as we respond to the question at hand: What’s so special about the Ascension?


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